Swim lessons and time spent poolside during the summer months guarantees a little sunshine and ample good memories. But what about the rest of the year? Who says the fun has to stop just because the weather cools?
Participating in year-round swim lessons offers a multitude of benefits for children. From drowning prevention to increased confidence, the span of positive outcomes is vast, impacting not just a child’s experience in the pool but in everyday life as well.
“We have had many parents talk about positive behavioral changes outside of swim class, such as in school, at home and with friends, after being enrolled in our swim program,” says Lindsay Thayer, owner of Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. “Our swimmers learn confidence as they are challenged and then rewarded as they achieve milestones in their swimming skills. The confidence gained makes our swimmers better believers in their own abilities, not just in the pool, but in their everyday lives.”
Here are 6 reasons why you should take the plunge and sign your child up for year-round swim lessons!
1. Swim lessons teach vital safety and drowning prevention skills.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional, non-boating related drownings every year in the US from 2005-2014. That comes out to about 10 deaths per day. And about 1 in 5 people who die from drowning are children under the age of 14. While these mind-numbing numbers are nothing short of tragic, Thayer knows the problem is entirely preventable.
“Our program (at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools) is a learn-to-swim program designed specifically to train children to be safe in and around the water,” Thayer tells us. “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children enrolled in a consistent swim program such as ours have a 88% reduced risk of drowning. Our swim program focuses on safety skills such as getting to your back to float, finding your way back to the wall or where you ‘fell’ from, proper breath control, and rolling from front to back to rest and get air.”
2. Year-round swimming provides consistent physical activity and health.
Summertime makes getting your kids outside and active much easier, but as soon as the weather cools and the sun sets earlier and earlier, finding opportunities to get your kids moving can be a challenge. Year-round swim lessons get your kids moving, no matter the temperature outside.
“Swimming works every muscle from head to toe. It increases muscle endurance and flexibility and develops better control and strength in the core,” explains Thayer.
The short- and long-term benefits of having an active childhood are too many to count. Avoid grumpy, cooped up kids this winter with year-round swim lessons.
3. Swimming is low-impact, so risk for injury is low compared to other sports.
Kids getting hurt is inevitable. Well, people getting hurt is inevitable. Some sports, however, put kids more at risk for injury than others do. Swimming isn’t one of those. Realistically there’s always risk, but as a low-impact, no-contact sport, swimming provides exercise for kids that’s a little more gentle on the joints and overall physical well-being.
Swimming also manages to work just about every muscle in the body, including arms, legs, and core. Getting your child consistently in the water keeps the whole body fit while minimizing the risk for injury.
4. Exercise releases endorphins, which reduce stress and increase overall happiness.
Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical that interacts with the receptors in the brain that reduce your perception of pain and triggers a positive feeling in the body. This neurotransmitter naturally reduces stress and increases one’s overall happiness, a sensation that many recognize after a good workout. This goes for adults and children alike.
“Swimming has been shown to actually convert stress into muscle relaxation, and to promote the growth of new brain cells. When swimming, blood flow to brain has been found to increase, therefore boosting mood and sharpening focus,” says Thayer.
What more can we say? An active child is a happy child.
5. Swimming increases confidence and builds stronger social skills.
Especially in a group lesson setting, year-round swimming is proven to increase a child’s confidence both in the pool and in a social setting. Having common goals and group camaraderie teaches kids how to support and root for one another while still focusing on bettering themselves.
“Any swimming lessons are beneficial, however, children enrolled in group lessons also develop social skills by interacting with other children,” explains Thayer. “The children end up encouraging each other, supporting and learning from one another through observing and leading by example.”
6. It’s fun!
At the end of the day, kids should still be kids. Fitness, endorphins, and skills aside, every child should experience joy, laughter, and positive human connections every day. Through year-round swimming, kids still have the opportunity to be kids, creating those positive relationships and happy memories.
About her swim school, Thayer says, “Our swim coaches know all of their kiddos by name. They know their favorite movie characters, colors and how their day at school went. They build real relationships with their students, which makes our lessons more fun and impactful.”
No matter how young or how old, keep your kids healthy and happy with year-round swim lessons, available at multiple pools and organizations around the city. For more information about Aqua-Tots Swim Schools’ north Indy location, visit their website or call 317-559-3210.